So yeah, the first issue of this three part mini-series left a bit to be desired. There was some potential, however; and although there was nothing overly complex or deep in the narrative, the first issue was a fun, action packed little tale.
Now that the second issue has arrived, let’s answer the question: Is it good?
Painkiller Jane: The 22 Brides #2 (Icon)
After a bomb goes off, Maureen is hurt and Jane is for lack of a better term, super pissed off. The 22 Brides have managed to find the people who set off the bomb and are holding them captive for answers. Things are about to get very ugly:
Now killing civilians and pop stars like we were going to originally do on the other hand — I’m down with that.
Now I can appreciate a few things about the comic. The main thing I can appreciate: there were a lot of improvements made. The story cut down on a lot of exposition and upped the characterization for Jane. It looked briefly at the “romantic” side of her with her boyfriend (?) and at times, how capricious her personality can be (this leads to some rather unfortunate moments of stupidity on her part). However, on the flip side, by threatening to torture people it made it harder for me to connect with her as well.
Some other improvements: a lack of leaps in logic that make no sense like before; no moments that felt dragged out; and better dialogue for the most part (although there were still some clunkers). Also appreciated is that the comic comes with a brief history summary at the back of the comic that explains the history of the 22 Brides and Jane’s relationship/friendship with them. The fanservice, while still there, is also toned down in areas and there is some intelligence shown by the characters to help make them feel more confident (though not always). That really helped fill out the backstory for the characters, though I would have preferred this in the last issue since that is where it would have been most needed (switch this summary with that backup story and there we go). It’s ultimately better, but still could use a little work.
That woman in blue sure walks funny, judging from her feet going at crazy, opposing angles and all.
The artwork sadly remains subpar to me. The characters look primarily poor due to their physiques looking off, their wonky movements, their faces (which look like they are being stretched up in duck bills at points), and rather bland facial expressions. The coloring is okay, but nothing really special (oh how I wish Paul Mounts was coloring this). The layout and scenery are fine, along with some okay action but nothing that’ll jump out at you. Ultimately, there’s not much to see here.
Is It Good?
Painkiller Jane: 22 Brides #2 still remains sadly disappointing. The writing has improved in some areas, but still needs plenty of ironing out. The same thing goes for the artwork in the book. I was really expecting more from the comic, but sadly, it’s not here. Maybe the last issue is where everything turns around. I can only hope.
Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!